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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
The questions were prepared by the Leagues of Women Voters of Santa Clara County and asked of all candidates for this office.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).
Questions & Answers
1. As a judge, you may be called on to impose sentences for crimes ranging from misdemeanors to homicide. While there are sentencing parameters and guidelines, you will have latitude. What factors and principles/values will affect your decisions?
As a Deputy District Attorney for the past twelve years, my experience of serving as the sole lead attorney prosecuting thousands of cases, ranging from misdemeanors to homicide, would give me the proper framework to fairly evaluate the cases before me.
I would be guided by the same principles I have followed as a prosecutor - that the role of the criminal justice system is to seek the truth, apply consequences appropriate to the crime committed, and protect victims and the community from violence and serious criminal conduct.
I would follow the laws and the guidelines that are given to judges, including considering the nature of the crime, the criminal history of the defendant, and the risk of future criminal conduct in evaluating the proper sentence for any defendant before the court. I recognize the importance of rehabilitation for non-violent drug offenders and juveniles, as well as the need to provide resources to youth to keep them from entering the juvenile justice system altogether. I would impose sentences in a fair and equal manner for all individuals coming before the court, just as I have prosecuted cases fairly and equally for over a decade.
2. Please describe your experience in civil and criminal cases.
I have extensive legal experience in both civil and criminal cases.
For the last 12 years, I have prosecuted thousands of serious and violent criminals including career criminals and domestic violence abusers. I have been the sole lead trial attorney on over 40 trials, ranging from misdemeanors to homicide, and I have never lost a jury trial. I have handled cases at all phases of a criminal case, including issuing (charging the case), negotiating cases at pre-trial, conducting preliminary examinations, writing and responding to motions, serving as trial counsel, and conducting sentencing hearings. I am knowledgeable of the complex issues that can arise in criminal cases, where the court must balance the rights and needs of victims with a defendant's due process rights.
Prior to becoming a Deputy District Attorney, I litigated complex civil matters at Morrison & Foerster in both state and federal court. My areas of practice included matters involving financial institutions, real estate, consumer class action, and intellectual property. My experience included conducting direct examination of an expert witness in federal court; preparing witnesses for trial; participating in a five-week international extradition trial in federal court; conducting oral argument in federal court, state court, and before discovery referees; participating in mediation resulting in settlement; taking and defending depositions (including expert depositions); researching and drafting pleadings, motions, and briefs at trial and appellate stages; propounding and responding to all forms of discovery; acting as liaison to media; and conducting intake on potential new clients. In addition, a large portion of my practice was devoted to pro bono matters, resulting in me receiving the Wiley M. Manuel Award for pro bono legal services.
Immediately out of law school, I was chosen for the prestigious position of Law Clerk to the Honorable William D. Keller in Federal District Court in the Central District of California. As a Law Clerk, I researched matters, drafted bench memoranda, and wrote opinions for the Court.
3. Would you propose any changes to assure that there is no appearance of bias in the courtroom including, but not limited to, bias based on disability, gender identity, age, race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation?
It is imperative that the judiciary apply justice equally to all individuals who come before the Court. Judges need to avoid acting in any manner that suggests bias or impropriety. As a judge, I would be fair, impartial, and apply justice equally and without bias.
Our justice system must provide access to all members of our community, with recognition not only of language barriers but of cultural barriers that may make individuals feel that they are not being treated fairly or with respect. Having worked in the community for the last several years, I have been directly involved in the issues faced by individuals who will appear before me, both as victims and as defendants. This experience will enable me to recognize issues in court and address them with understanding.
In addition, I truly believe that a diverse bench with women, minorities, and men all being represented as members of the judiciary helps those individuals coming before the Court feel comfortable that our judiciary is an accurate reflection of our society.
Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League. Candidates' responses are not edited or corrected by the League.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).
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Created from information supplied by the candidate: May 15, 2010 07:35
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